FreshEd is a weekly podcast that makes complex ideas in educational research easily understood. Iveta and Nelli discussed there our book – Childhood and Schooling in (Post)Socialist Societies – and the research that we are now undertaking, continuing the book. They explored questions like “What was it like growing up and attending school in the Soviet Union and other socialist societies? Did the lived experiences of children match the official rhetoric of the state or the Western bloc? What agency did children have?”
Were schoolchildren in socialist lands icons of the future or victims of the state? Models of modernity or manipulated conformists? Empowered or oppressed? The answer is yes . . . and no. Childhood and Schooling in (Post) Socialist Societies: Memories of Everyday Life is a unique, interdisciplinary collection of essays aimed at complicating a number of “master narratives” about modern childhood and (post)socialism derived from official state and Cold War discourses by examining the lived experiences of children (4). To do so, the editors of Childhood and Schooling asked contributors to plumb their own memories of school-age childhood in socialist contexts, the result of which is a “living kaleidoscope of memories” replete with “ambiguities and complexities” that challenge a static view of socialist childhood (2, 4, 9).
Simona Szakács has just published a review of our book Childhood and Schooling in (Post)Socialist Societies: Memories of Everyday life in European Education journal. Please read open access review here.
Re-Collect / Re-Connect: Crossing the Divides through Memories of Cold War Childhoods
Project Leader: Associate professor Zsuzsa Millei, University of Tampere
Academic collaborators: Professor Silova Iveta, Associate Professor Piattoeva Nelli, Professor Hörschelmann Kathrin, Professor Dussel Inés, Professor Tlostanova Madina, Professor Burman Erica, Associate Professor Gannon Susanne
On August 23rd-25th 2018, we organized a workshop in Tampere to further extend – theoretically, methodologically, conceptually, analytically, and geographically – our project on DE-COLONIAL AND DE-COLD WAR DIALOGUES ON CHILDHOOD AND SCHOOLING. We had the pleasure of hosting Professors Erica Burman (The University of Manchester, UK), Madina Tlostanova, (Linköping University, Sweden) and Kathrin Hörschelmann (Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde, Leipzig, Germany) for three days in Tampere, Finland.
“The authors of this beautiful book are professional academics and intellectuals who grew up in different socialist countries. Exploring “socialist childhoods” in a myriad ways they draw on memoirs and memories, personal experience and collectively history, emotional knowledge of an insider and a measured perspective of an analyst. What emerges is life that was caught between real optimism and dullness, ethical commitments and ideological absurdities, selfless devotion to children and their treatment as a political resource. Such attention to detail and paradox makes this collective effort not only timely but also remarkably genuine.” (Alexei Yurchak, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, USA)